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Subject: TSA Baggage inspections rss

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Bill Patrick

Medford
Oregon
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I fly about 6-8 times a year and in the last two years I have been packing board games in my suitcase. Ever since I started doing this I have received a "Notice of Baggage Inspection" in my checked luggage when I unpack. Before gaming I had never even seen one of those, now there is one after every trip! What is in these boxes 'o games that attracts TSA attention?sauron Anyone else ever notice this?
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river tam
United States
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They can't see through your bag clearly when it's full of cardboard. I saw the screen when my carry on from BGGCON had lots of games, you can't see anything. They pulled it out and opened it.
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Tony Krahn
Canada
Taber
Alberta
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Never flown with games, but not surprising in the least. I can only imagine what 2 or 3 boxes with who knows what components inside look like through a scan.

Hmmm. X-ray meeples!
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Huw
United Kingdom
Cardiff
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I fly out of USA once a year and each year they have cut the 'zip pulls' on the suitcases even though I had the TSA locks on them. So each time I either have to buy a new suitcase or leave it unsecure
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Huff wrote:
I fly out of USA once a year and each year they have cut the 'zip pulls' on the suitcases even though I had the TSA locks on them. So each time I either have to buy a new suitcase or leave it unsecure


Off topic but of might be of use. I have friend who travels a lot and instead of the locks he just buys different color zip ties. Puts one color on the zippers and a baggy inside with different color ones and a note asking tsa to apply the new ones.

It's cheap and gives you a bit more peace of mind that nobody rifled through your luggage.
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Huw
United Kingdom
Cardiff
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apocalyp wrote:
Huff wrote:
I fly out of USA once a year and each year they have cut the 'zip pulls' on the suitcases even though I had the TSA locks on them. So each time I either have to buy a new suitcase or leave it unsecure


Off topic but of might be of use. I have friend who travels a lot and instead of the locks he just buys different color zip ties. Puts one color on the zippers and a baggy inside with different color ones and a note asking tsa to apply the new ones.

It's cheap and gives you a bit more peace of mind that nobody rifled through your luggage.


I suggested that to the other half after the last time, she wasn't too keen though, but we'll see what happens, thanks for the suggestion
 
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Bill Solt
United States
Palmerton
Pennsylvania
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I just came back from California. I bought Pandemic: The Cure and had it my carry on while wearing my Anthrax t-shirt. It never even registered with me when I got dressed that morning. The TSA agent caught it though. It had a very 12 Monkeys vibe to it.
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Jeff Lozito
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I had a recent experience on a trip my wife and I took to Toronto. We took with us a duffle bag full of games. Not surprisingly, we got pulled aside for closer inspection.

The funny thing (to us) was that the lady who initially flagged it eagerly came over to find out what was in it and when the person inspecting the bag replied that it was 'Just a bunch of games', the look of disappointment on her face was quite visible.

I'm still curious what she was expecting / hoping for.
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Melissa the Gnome
United States
West Allis
WI - Wisconsin
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When we flew out to see my husband's family for Christmas two years ago, we took a bunch of card games with us. Our bags got checked (it was all carryons) and the TSA guys were like, "Oh, cards. Is this like Magic?" It was Munchkin and something else. But the TSA guys were pretty cool about it and listened to a brief description about the games (it wasn't a busy traveling day). They told us the stacks of card looked like bricks on the machines. So maybe they thought drugs or explosives?
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Stephen Williams
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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Indy418 wrote:
They told us the stacks of card looked like bricks on the machines. So maybe they thought drugs or explosives?


Maybe they thought bricks. I doubt the TSA would like you to bring bricks on the airplane, either.

Seriously, though, I'm sure they just wanted to know what this nebulous brick-shaped thing was, because it could be just about anything. It could be a lead-lined box with a small knife or something inside, for all they knew.

I've never transported games across international borders (by plane, anyway,) but I did once forget about a screwdriver I had in one of the side pockets of my backpack. This was back in the day when I rode my bike everywhere, and the screwdriver was part of my emergency repair kit.

The guard spent a few minutes silently rifling through my bag before I realized what he was looking for, at which point I told him where it was, and he sent me back to the concierge to have it stored until my return trip.

All in all, I think he handled the situation very politely. Considering I was (unintentionally) creating a very legitimate threat, I'm sure he could have done a lot worse.
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Waspinator
United States
St Louis
Missouri
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Given that the standard policy for airplane pilots nowadays is to stay locked in the cockpit, I honestly question how much of modern air security actually is needed. You're not going to hijack a plane with a screwdriver.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
United States
Mountain View
California
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TheWaspinator wrote:
Given that the standard policy for airplane pilots nowadays is to stay locked in the cockpit, I honestly question how much of modern air security actually is needed. You're not going to hijack a plane with a screwdriver.


How else are you going to take the hinges off the cockpit door?
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Jeff Wood
United States
Davis
California
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Santiago wrote:
How else are you going to take the hinges off the cockpit door?


Just point and click...and be the one monster TSA agents fear boarding a flight...
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Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Not quite the same. But a few years ago, when my middle child was 14, we took a family trip. She got pulled out of line and her bag was searched after going though the x-ray machine.

After the fourth time, I asked. 'hey, she's 14 why do y'all think she is such a threat?'

That said they could only see a black square in her bag because of her book. She was carrying a Harry Potter book and the x-ray couldn't get through it.
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Bill Patrick

Medford
Oregon
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Very cool stories. I kind of figured the would be a variety of incidents with TSA. Very funny hearing all these permutations of gaming related run-ins at the airports.

It makes me wonder if there's maybe been other similar things happening at other places like work or the gym or anywhere where games might be a bit incongruous and provoke odd reactions.
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Mindy Basi
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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I just flew to Florida and back with a bunch of board games in my checked suitcase, and carry on, no problems. I don't believe my bag was inspected, either.

So it may not be that it grabs the attention of all screeners.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
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TheWaspinator wrote:
Given that the standard policy for airplane pilots nowadays is to stay locked in the cockpit, I honestly question how much of modern air security actually is needed. You're not going to hijack a plane with a screwdriver.


I suppose they are thinking about the passengers' safety as well. Nobody wants to be stabbed with a screwdriver (or anything else, for that matter).
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Paul K.
United States
Portland
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Re: Screwdrivers - For the first several years after 9/11, all "tools" were prohibited. Finally they adjusted it to only tools over 7", blades (saws/knives), and bludgeons (hammers) were prohibited.

Re: Games - It would depend a lot on the type of game/components. A game with a significant amount of densely packed cards (i.e. a deck-builder with multiple expansions packed into one box) would most likely have to be hand-inspected based on how it appears on an X-Ray machine.

Re: Anything else - I know someone who works for TSA, if you have any other questions I can see what I can find out that isn't sensitive information.
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Rae
United Kingdom
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Got pulled up at Stuttgart airport a couple of weeks back for having a copy of Abluxxen in my hand baggage. The two blocks of cards in the box looked suspicious on the scanners.
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S C
United Kingdom
Leicester
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I distinctly remember flying with some toys and one of them was a cement truck. I'll leave you to figure out what the metal mixer looks like on a scan.
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Connor Cranston
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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When I was in Orlanda I bought a lot of games from CSI and Amazon while there and LOTS of bubblewrap from Target. Every game was individually wrapped and placed in a suitcase wrapped in clothes. I'm very OCD about damage...

When I got home my suitcase was opened for inspection. I felt so violated But the strange thing is, they didn't unwrap the games or bubblewrap. For all they know there could have been tons of cocaïne inside the game boxes. Are they allowed to open sealed games for inspection? Shouldn't they do that in my presence?

What if I was missing a game when I got home? Would I be able to hold anyone accountable?
 
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Waspinator
United States
St Louis
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If you wanted to ban everything that could be used as a weapon against other passengers, I'm not sure what you people COULD be allowed to take on airplanes. Screwdrivers are too dangerous, but my laptop is fine? It wouldn't exactly be rocket science to rig a laptop battery into starting a fire.
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Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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TheWaspinator wrote:
Given that the standard policy for airplane pilots nowadays is to stay locked in the cockpit, I honestly question how much of modern air security actually is needed. You're not going to hijack a plane with a screwdriver.


It's weird the things that get confiscated. Sometimes it seems "at their discretion" and arbitrary.

I had a roll of duct tape confiscated on a South African domestic flight. This roll had been allowed USA-> South Africa international, but suddenly was deemed a threat within South Africa. Plus anything I could've done with duct tape I also could've done with my shoelaces or ripping my t-shirt into threads or something... I think probably the agent just needed some duct tape for some weekend house repairs or something :-)
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Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Stewi wrote:


The guard spent a few minutes silently rifling through my bag before I realized what he was looking for, at which point I told him where it was, and he sent me back to the concierge to have it stored until my return trip.



Wait, what? Concierge? Was this on the Canada side? You Canadians are so nice.

I once forgot about a swiss army knife and the guy wouldn't even hold onto it for 10 minutes so I could run down to my gate and check if I had already missed my flight or not. And he certainly didn't mention any concierge. So I had to just abandon it over to TSA to put into the "confiscated goodies" bucket.
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Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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I think the only gaming TSA thing I had was my magnetic travel chess set. I'm sure it looked very suspicious with all those little magnetic components...
 
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